Exodus 20:8-11 : The Fourth Command
Father, we come to service on Sunday morning, we’re relatively insulated in our community here in Norwalk. Not that it’s been completely untouched from the cares of this world, but mostly it is, and yet we see the effects on our world, Lord, we see the brokenness and it does set in our hearts, we see over 100-000 people have passed away or to or from Covid- 19, and their families are deeply affected by that, and many many more have been affected by job loss, and the downturn in the economy as a result. There’s just sadness and sorrow there, Lord, and on top of that, we have another death and the resulting both peaceful protests, and violent rioting that’s going on that just leaves us sorrowful. I pray that we would not be too quick to give our answer that we would simply mourn for the brokenness in this world, and long for the hope of righteousness, Lord, I do pray for all the families that have been affected by Covid-19, I pray for these violent protesters, I pray for the peaceful protests, there’s a pray for the people have been directly affected by this depth of this man in Minneapolis and the police officer there I just pray for each one involved that you would work, convict of sin, where there’s need for that, bring comfort, where there’s need for that, and in all of this, darkness, I pray that You would cause of realization draw people to the light board, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I pray we carry all of these things with us, to a Sunday morning worship service. We carry different struggles with us relational struggles, or job struggles sorrow and sadness anger, frustration, depression, anxiety, just a variety of different struggles, we bring into this room and then as people are following us online today and I just ask, I pray that you would minister to each one, and that need we would be able to come to you just as per and that you would change us and bring us the piece that we need. Now, as we look into your Word would you give us just immense clarity and enrich our hearts Father we pray and ask this in your precious name in Amen.
You can open your Bibles with me please to Exodus Chapter 20, and then Hebrews Chapter 3. I’m gonna have you keep a finger in both spots and we’re gonna read both of these out loud Exodus Chapter 20, and Hebrews chapter 3. Exodus 20, we are on the fourth commandment, today, and as with all of the 10 commandments that we have been working our way through the fourth commandment is far more expansive. And even there, I say, more demanding that we might first see. So I’m gonna call on you to follow along with me as we read this, we’re gonna start in Exodus Chapter 20, we’re gonna read verses eight through 11, and then we’ll switch over to Hebrews 3, and we’re gonna read a lengthy portion from Hebrews chapter three, so this is Exodus Chapter 20, verses 8- 11.
[Exodus 20:8-11 ESV] 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Turn over to Hebrews Chapter 3.I’m gonna actually start at verse seven, we’re gonna read all the way through the end of chapter 4.
[Hebrews 3:7-19 ESV] 7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ 11 As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.'” 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
[Hebrews 4:1-16 ESV] 1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,'” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
That Hebrews passage, it sounds a little bit like another preacher sermon from some time in the distant past.
You’re right, that was the abbreviated manuscripts. We have of an unknown preacher who was preaching to Jews about how Christ is so much better. It was a sermon series in all likelihood about how Christ is better than the former rest. Christ is better than the angels, in verse 1 and 2. Christ better than Moses, and the sacrificial system in the high priest.
Today, we’re gonna focus in on that the rest, there once was a normal American family, they had three kids and the dog, he worked and sometimes he picked up extra hours, he was able to work some over time quite often, each one of the three kids were actually doing schooling different… Two of them, or in two different school locations and one of them was home-schooled this normal family, all three kids were involved in at least one activity at any time, many times the kids were involved in more than one extracurricular activity, at any given time. The mom worked from home had her own business that she worked on and all of them together were busy and tired. In fact, they could go months at a time without having an open day on their schedule.
They prioritized church, they were in church, most of the time, if at all, they were able and they prioritized Church activities, but both of them would admit the first thing that they wanted and sometimes did cross off their calendar was church, so they could do other things that they really wanted.
Recently, there began to be some irritability in the home, the husband and wife noticed this both and they still loved one another but they struggle knowing where it came from.
One would kinda bark at the other one and the other one would get really defensive at the slightest wrong doing the kids.
We’re busy and tired. The mom particularly was having a tough time sleeping at night and resting all of them would work themselves to the bone during the day and collapse into their phones, our computer after dinner to rest.
How does that normal family find rest?
That’s kind of what we’re gonna be driving towards today. How can you find rest in your life is what we’re gonna be working on today.
Let me ask you a question.
Our passage today says, “Remember the Sabbath Day.
Alright, what is the first thing? This is interactive, what is the first thing you think of when you hear the word? Sabbath…. Saturday….. okay, what else or what rest guy, what else?
Church, Okay yeah, what else?
To retain extra manna of the day before. Okay, the anything else Jesus okay. Is anybody think of religious duty or like You’re not allowed to work on that day?
So that comes to anybody’s mind.
Judaism, okay. Yeah, it’s one of the marking qualities in fact of Judaism that along with the circumcision, the word “tanith is actually the Hebrew word shot. Can you say Shabbat? Okay, now do you notice how they sound a lot like in English? We normally emphasize the first syllable? Hebrew normally emphasizes the second syllable. They’re almost identical. Now, I wanna ask you a question, why do you think they sound alike, because the translators put English letters to the Hebrew word, they didn’t translate they did something called transliterated. The most common example of this in the word of God is the word baptize. You guys have heard the word baptize, it’s a Greek word baptizo.
They were translating back to into English in the King James English originally the man translating it was received a little bit of pressure to make sure that the translation that he chose for that word would include a Catholic feel- would be allowed to be a Catholic sprinkling instead of a full dipping and so, he just transliterated the word to avoid the pressure all together and to allow people to decide what it would mean and that’s the word that then became a word in English, and people then were allowed to define what that word meant. And to this day, the word baptize means several different things to several different people right to a Catholic. It means a little sprinkling for the baby to an evangelical of our stripe. It would mean you dip somebody, right?
It’s the difference between sprinkling sprinkles on top and dipping it with a hard coating for ice cream, right?
Who prefers which? I prefer the dip personally. And you’re only spiritual if you prefer the dip, but that’s kind of how we think of it. … So, it was transliterated. It’s the same thing with us, and translators do this sometime, but it allows you to be able to define what that word is because sometimes there’s not a clear word, translation is often a difficult task and it’s not like there’s an exact word, all the time, that matches into our English language is… So they did that with Sabbath.
Okay, the actual word at the word that’s used here, is an intensive form of the word for case you can write that down. Sabbath literally means, cease and if you want to call the seventh day each week Tabitha, you should probably translate it, you could translate it the sun and every week you have a, a sessation of what I’ve worked.
You stop working now, there are two words in fact in this passage, there’s that word Sabbath for cease. And then a little later on, in Verse 11, it says, that the Lord rested the seventh day and that’s what we’re commanded to do. The word that’s then also often used for the sabbath day is a word that is the word that we would normally think of, like, Take a break, rest something like that.
And so, one word the Sabbath: Shabbot has this idea of you’re mowing the lawn, and you stop mowing, the lawn by turning off the lawn mower, ’cause you’re done.
Okay, the other word, it’s Word. Nuac- the idea more along the lines of like, a gentle flowing stream you guys know how peaceful that is, and if you ever listen to flowing water or waves and you’re just to put you to bed at night, or to help you calm down or whatever, okay, maybe only me, that’s fine, but that’s the kind of thing that… That word means. And really, both together, what God intends in this passage. Now, there are a few things you should understand about the Sabbath. And the first thing is that it was specifically an Old Covenant sign given to the Israelites. You have to remember that much, like circumcision is called a sign, for the Old Testament Jews the Sabbath was specifically designed as an old testament covenant, for them, it marked them.
These are the things that marked them as different from all of the cultures around them, you’ve got the circumcision and you’ve got their observance weekly observance of the Shabbat and this is the the verse, you can look at it later. Ezekiel 20, 12.
I also give them my Sabbath to serve as a sign between me and them, so that they would know that I am the Lord who consecrate them. Now, let me ask you a question, you come to this point, does that mean is the fact that God gives one day a week of rest as a special sign for his people mean that we were actually always intended to rest and we were never intended to work.
Yes and no, so yes and no, it’s a trick question, Okay, no in the fact that Genesis 2:15 tells us that The Lord took man and put him in the garden of Eden, to work it and to keep it. That happened before Genesis 3, before the fall, happened, God intended mankind to be working before the fall.
It’s not part of the curse.
In fact, I would argue that it’s part of our DNA to work to labor, it’s not part of our DNA to constantly be not productive on fruitful to not be doing anything and I think much depression ends up coming honestly, as a result of that, principle right there. Not always, but often it does. What happens though is that there is a curse on work in Genesis Chapter 3. you remember that verse where he says You’re gonna have… By the sweat of your brow, you’re gonna work the ground and it’s gonna be cursed with thorns and the picture there is really clear, right?
You gotta remember too that where they lived in this land where this was originally written, they didn’t have 6-8 inches a beautiful black top soil like iOS okay, they had that was dead, they had sand and more like dust and rocks and for anything to grow there would have been hard. The only thing that grows really well there are thorns and that’s the picture that they’re given here now, just because you and I live in Iowa does that mean we’re free from the curse on work?
Now see, it’s a picture, it’s an illustration to show you something.
You know you kids, you have to do chores right or chores fun, they’re hard, they’re frustrating, not easy. Sometimes you do them and then you realize you did them the wrong way and you gotta go do all over again, you people out there who have a job, you know what it’s like to go to work, we call it a the grind right because you every day you gotta go back to the grind you gotta go back, you gotta work hard.
Often times, it feels rather painful and thorny. The work often feels very unsatisfying and very difficult and very unproductive.
We work and we labor to the bone to see a fruitful harvest, and we end up with a few tomatoes, that are half right, and you see quoted, I put on that work into what I was doing.
That’s how work is cursed for us today. But the good news is that God is at work today, redeeming all of the curses from redeeming all of the curses redeeming us from all of the curses and God will one day finally remove all of the curses from us. And that includes work. There is a way in connection with Jesus Christ, that you and I can have fruitful labor and know that our labor is not in vain.
We’ll talk about that a little bit more in a little bit.
The beautiful thing about rest that we see in Genesis Chapter 2 is that “God took a break right? and that’s what this passage says. six days, the Lord made heaven and earth and rested on the seventh day. What does that mean about rest?
It’s good, it’s good.
Some of you feel really guilty when you take a break, so you feel guilty when you’re tired after you worked really hard, you feel like maybe you should be God, you should have unlimited energy to do everything that you wanna do, you shouldn’t feel guilty. God did not need a break, but he took a break, and that means rest is dignified and not only that, but Jesus says in the New Testament that the Sabbath was actually made for man, not man for the Sabbath. And the picture there is that the Sabbath is a servant for mankind.
Good, rest is a good thing for you and your soul, not a bad thing.
So we have in this passage here verse nine says, Six days you shall labor and the word there is more than just that work word. It’s intensive. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a ceasing as cessation to the Lord. You shall not do any work.
So knowing all of that, from Genesis Chapter 23, we get a very vivid picture of what God is doing in this command.
You’ve got six days in the agrarian culture where they would raise crops and raise sheep, and raise enough crops hopefully to feed their sheep, they would hurd him, they do everything they can to keep them alive.
Six days, the drudge through like six days feeling the thorn of the curse each and every single day in your hands, struggling to get to struggling to just have enough to eat that week and then what happens, the seventh day comes, and then on the seventh day, there’s a cessation the seventh day is an on doing in one sense of the curse of work the seventh day is a day where you don’t have to face and touch the curse that is work. The thorns the unfruitlessness instead you find rest in God, that’s the picture. So you can imagine a community, a culture, an entire people that is shaped by this mindset. Six days you’re trudging through life. I can’t wait for the weekend for them, it was just one day for us oftentimes, it’s two days, I can’t wait for the weekend.
They’re trudging through life, they’re looking ahead to the hope of the weekend and slowly that starts to form the way they view all of life all of their life is drudgery, is walking through thorns is the unfruitfulness is feeling the curse of work but only if only one day they could enter into the final rest.
That’s what the seventh day is picturing. And so vivid really powerful picture, it’s really fascinating. Genesis Chapter 2:15, the word that is used- the Lord took the man and put him in the garden of Eden, to work it and keep it… You know that he took the Adam and he Nuac-ed him- in the Garden of Eden, to work and keep it… You trusted Him, He rested him, to work.
See the picture. The goal for mankind was always that they would live in a location in a place that worked with them, not against them and so they would work hard but it would be almost restful, in their work.
And by the way, any picture of Heaven that you have right now, where heaven is just one long church service or heaven is just like sitting on clouds and doing nothing all day, long or sitting on the beach and doing nothing all day, long, it’s just not a biblical view of heaven that is a Greek mythology view of heaven, don’t let that take your view Heaven when you are entering into that new creation, I believe that the biblical view is that you’re gonna be return to a garden of Eden vocation where your job is gonna be to work and keep the Earth, whether that means we’re all farmers are you work and keep it in different ways to bring order to this earth and it’s all gonna bring glory to God.
Or how about Exodus 33:14? After they fall after Israel falls into idolatry, Moses pleads for them, and God tells them My presence will go with you. And I will give you Nuac. I thought that was only one day a week?- apparently not apparently that one day a week is part of a bigger idea in the Word of God of what REST is, or how about Joshua chapter 1:13, The Lord your God is providing you a place of “Nuac” and will give you this land, you know the promised land, how all those old hymns picture, the promised land is heaven. That’s the idea here. You’re gonna not only have a day of rest every week but the goal is you’re gonna have a location of rest every single week.
And so this is the same word that’s used and this is what the author of Hebrews picks up on, this is why the author of Hebrews says There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, and when he describes it later in the book, he describes it as a new Jerusalem in Hebrews chapter 12, a location where they will rest.
And so we find, as we really study this versus idea of rest, it’s not just about one day a week it is part of a kaleidoscope is part of a mosaic it will be a better work… You know what a mosaic is? All the little bits and pieces, fragments of glass that are put together to make a beautiful picture. The Sabbath is one broken piece of glass in that mosaic of what God intends for mankind of rest.
So the first thing I really wanna draw your attention here too, as we look at the Sabbath we’re one the first point, of 10. it’s okay that was just the introduction right now, I’m just kidding, there’s two points and we’re already like halfway down with a sermon. I had to get through the background of what that word means before we move on. The first point of the thing that I want you to see here is the importance of rhythm.
What I mean is the rhythm of life. How many of you ran as a sport in high school either track or cross country?
How many of you run today? Sometimes. I run that does not make me a runner, but there is one thing that I have learned, Okay, my wife, she likes running and she’s able to look at all the houses around her and she’s surprised when I tell her I am not able to see any of the houses around me. My vision is like a black circle and I’m just trying to focus on the next step like I’m running and my only concern is take one more breath and take one more step, the entire time.
Now, here’s what I found in the rhythm of running. I found that I have to keep a rhythm if I breathe in different ways, I’m done in a minute, I have to keep a steady rhythm in my breathing, I have to to keep a steady pace and gate in my running if I want to… Last whatsoever as a runner.
And that’s one of the things that I want you to understand about your life here. You need a healthy rhythm.
This is what God sets up here.
It’s not just about one day God institutes something here so that the people of Israel will in the weekly rhythm, of their life. Remember, rest and remember that God intends not the curse of life you intend to rest that’s what he wants for his people.
That’s the first… You really gotta get this, we have… We have Memorial Days we have labor days, we have July 4th, we’ve got religious holidays with Christmas and Easter and some have even observed other Christian holidays of Pentecost or Luton and these are healthy and good things for you to do, but very rarely do we have a weekly teen, teen, mindset.
A weekly reminder. We have church that many of us go to for an hour or two, and that’s fantastic. You should go to church, but do you have a weekly rhythm? That’s what they had here an entire day.
24 hours now work you have much of an inconvenience that is, do you ever have to get all of your jobs done, all of your work around the house, the day before Sunday you ever spend a complete day just meditating on the rest of God and resting with people and worshipping God together.
Or is your day still ed with the other things?
I’m not saying, again, I wanna emphasize this, This is an old covenant command. It’s not necessarily for us but I’m just trying to put you in their shoes to get a feel for how much of an inconvenience, this would be for you to do.
He calls this whole… It’s a way for them to be marked out as different and this day to be marked out is different for them.
Many of you, when you look at this, you think Man- that’s unrealistic, it’s unrealistic to take a day off each week. We can’t, I can’t do that. And we’ll talk in a little bit about what this rest really is, but I want you to think for a minute of what that would mean for the Old Testament.
Hebrews, Israelites, okay, first of all, I did the math. It’s a 14% loss of productivity that’s one out of 70. I thought I estimated like 20%. I was way wrong, I’m glad I did the math. 14% loss of productivity right away, right off the top, okay.
You don’t get to do 14% of your work.
That means that you can harvest 14% less, that means the wealth that you get from that harvest is 14% less, it means the food that you can put in your storage for the rest of the year.
Is it 14% lest you start to see the inconvenience.
Initial thought of these relates what do you think it was? That’s unrealistic like we’re barely making it as it is, we’re scraping by in a desert environment, we’re scraping by the harvest what little we can and now you’re saying we have to live on even less. How realistic is that for us?
That’s the first thing that you see on top of that throughout time, but especially under the Roman rule we have plenty of record of how the Romans looked down on the Hebrews, and said they were lazy or taking one day off a week.
Not only are they losing productivity, but they’re losing reputation on top of that. Now, one of the worst things, somebody could say, of someone I think in America, is that you are lazy.
There’s built into the culture that we have. Is this idealistic… I’m gonna work hard. And if you say you’re not working hard and that’s a really big diss to you. On top of that, I see, I lost my place here …..on top of that, this command here, to take a break every week is connected to several other in a mosaic commands for what rest looks like within that culture including the “every seven years you’re supposed to let go of all your slaves, they’re supposed to be freed okay?
That was every seven years, every seven years you’re supposed to give up, forgive all debts and everybody who has a mortgage says, as a teen that’d be sweet and it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t like seven years from the time you got the mortgage, it’s if you get the mortgage in your six you’d still get released from it and you’re seven, or if you got a slave in Year Six, you still release them in your seven all of that by number and by other key words is linked into this idea of rest. So not only that, but to observe this idea of rest. You have a complete workforce turnover every seven years, you lose a ton of Your Financial leverage every seven years, and on top of that, there’s every 50 years.
Okay, so you remember you lose for 14%You’re 49, you lose a fourth year. 49.Well, I forgot about this.
There’s one more thing, every seven years on top of that you’re not allowed to work your land, you’re not supposed to do anyway, supposed to let the land new art rest and it’s supposed to be available there for animals and for the stranger and the foreigner to be able to read and be able to eat.
So on top of the 14% that you’re not allowed to work each week, there’s 14% of the time, that you’re supposed to just give away all of your money all of your way of making money to the foreigner and then on top of that, your 49 happens again, if you know your math seven, seven, that’s 49, you’re 49, you’re not allowed to work the ground to keep it, You’re 50, you’re also not allowed to work the ground and keep it.
And on top of that, all the land that you may have accumulated, or your family may have accumulated over that 50 years then goes back to the original families who owned it.
And so all of the equity that you built up over 50 years, you lose.
Do you see how much of an inconvenience this principle of rest would be, it would mess with your finances, it would mess with your time it would mess with the power dynamic within a community where the wealthy could be more influential and in charge and all of a sudden everything’s even, again, you see that principle.
In other words, what I wanna say is the demands that are put on you to find good rest to take… Part every single week to designate out a time where you find a true rest is not that inconvenient. In comparison to what the Israelites did.
It’s good, it’s good for you.
And that brings me to the last point, which is I wanna encourage you, we have to adjust the way I’ve gone all of this time without really defining what the biblical view of rust is.
Okay, so the last point is recover real rest, recover real rest alright, if you think of rest when I say rest, what’s your first thought? Is it sit in some ice to drink on a beach somewhere later coming to give you that daily massages you occasionally get in the water, if it gets too hot and then you get back out. Is that your idea of forest, some of you are like… Yeah, that’s it, and others of you are like “That sounds awful.
That’s not rest whatsoever. That’s jail. Is it sitting by a campfire is it sitting around watching the TV show? What would be rest? If you were able to take a vacation, if you were able to do anything arrest, what might it be?
Trust is not being served.
We know that because on the Sabbath day, who was allowed to work where the slaves allowed to work so REST is not being served. REST is not laziness so all of the slugger craves and get nothing while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
REST is not running from responsibility or I’ve got too many things to do, so I’m just gonna do whatever I want for a while ’cause I’m too burden.
Rest is not addictive behavior. You think all day long, all week long. I can’t wait till I can watch that TV show. Get on Facebook, you instinctively get on Twitter on your phone, play that video game, whatever that addict rest is. Not addictive behavior. That’s slavery. REST is not the goal of life I’ve already argued, for this. It’s not what you were made for.
So what is REST? Rest is, in the end, righteousness.
This is the point when we… In fact, Joel and Socorro, when they first came here, the first Sunday here, was when I was teaching through the series on rest and work and they brought up that to me different times they remember how we worked through the subject, and then how we brought it all to Christ, and that was three or four years ago now, and this is the point that I miss three or four years ago and I’m so happy, you gotta understand that any topic that I preach on from the Word of God, I’m not gonna know everything there is to know about it, make every time I open the Word, of God, an adventure. And this realization as I studied it was just so helpful to me.
Let me ask you a question, Why were the slaves not allowed to work?
It’s because one day a week, there was no slave or free. One day a week, there was no rich or poor. One day a week, there was no powerful. And week -one day a week, there was justice and righteousness.
Again, this principle is connected in all of the ways I already showed you with the seven where one day a week, you have this one day and then these principles of seven that tell you and imply to you the importance of justice and righteousness, and if you think about God’s kingdom, what do you think of ? What is Christ’s kingdom? a kingdom of righteousness, it’s a longing for righteousness, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
A person is never more at unrest then he is when he is touched directly or indirectly with unrighteousness, right?
What’s your experience with this, look at your own life, her you know this to be true, when you live in unrighteousness and live in sin what is your soul? It’s a stormy sea.
When things around you are unrighteous. How do you feel that on rest, right?
And this is the reason all through the Bible and I say it’s all over the place. The emphasis for the people of God in this coming day of rest is always that when that rust happens, there will be righteousness established in the land, and that’s going to be the cause of the rest and that means we desperately need to find righteousness if we’re gonna find rest today, from everything that I can see, rest is Norm. Our Righteousness. Let me put it like this. Unrest is normally caused either internally are that externally, right?
You’ve got internal unrest that you have when you are ashamed of something when you’re anxious about something when you feel like you’re not measuring up to some standard, you have or someone else has you feel that in here you feel unrest inside of you?
And then externally, unrest happens when trials it, right?
We’ve been going through it this year. 2020 has been just crazy right, it’s been not… So we’ve got “Covid- 19, killing everyone not killing everyone.
I don’t wanna sound unkind and killing 100-000 people. We’re not even near at least from what I’ve read the majority of people who have been touched by it yet.
A number made double before it’s over.
And then on top of that, you’ve got this situation that happened up in Minneapolis.
Police officer named Derek kept his knee on a man named George’s neck until he was dead.
You know that’s going on, right?
And then you’ve got the violent riots that happened as a result of that and you’ve got these peaceful protests that are coming out of result of beyond unrest people feel, and you’ve got just a general concern for the economy and what’s happening with that.
You feel unrest. So, on rest happens both internally and externally, right?
So, we need someone to take care of the unrest we have internally and externally.
And I’ve got good news for you.
You feel the world has broken.
Do you feel the shadows deepen… Do you know that all the dark won’t stop, the light from getting through? Do you wish that it could all be made new?
This is why we pray- God Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is why we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we have these two great unrests and Jesus by His death and resurrection, meets both. He meets the first, the internal one that you feel and that can… normally, because by two things internally you’ve got one decisions you’ve made that were poor, and the unrest you feel as a result of that then 2, the things that have happened to you by others done by others, and the unrest you feel as a result of that, that Jesus solves, both through His death and resurrection, you know how? – his death and resurrection, saves you from your sin and the punishment that you deserve from your sin and he invites you to Himself to offer you rest, he brings you to himself for that and then what people have done to you and the anxiety you feel in your soul from that you can place that in a sovereign God’s hand who is in control and you know that you can cast your cares on Him because He’s already proven he cares for you, because he demonstrated his love for you in that wall. You were still a sinner, He died for you, that’s our Savior, that’s how he gives you rest internally, he meets these needs, right where they’re at right in the core of our being right in the in herself, he takes care of them, through His death and resurrection, and that’s the only way they could happen, it couldn’t be enforced from the inside out.
You can’t just say a phrase over and over again. Like, I’m a good person, and that’s slowly makes you feel better about yourself. It’s not the way your soul will find rest and you know this ’cause you’ve experienced it, and I…
Jesus does what no one else could he straightens that bent part of humanity that no one else could straighten.
We call it the old man we call it being totally depraved, we call it being dead in your trespasses and sins, whatever you call it the straight in the so that you can see and look at Jesus Christ, and receive his rest.
He offers rest, but secondly, he offers final rest for the world because you see His death and resurrection, were actually in Ascension to a kind of Throne and then after that, He was ascended on high, to sit at the right hand of the Father.
And today, you and I are part of that kingdom. Listen, the church has had a mainly unimaginable positive influence in this world.
Praise God for that from the very beginning, the kingdom of God, his people not who don’t fly under a flag -don’t fly under an earthly ruler don’t fly under a government, we fly, he followed a risen Savior and our weapons of war or our faith and our weapons of warfare are being willing to sacrifice ourselves for others, and it’s through that that unimaginable positive things have happened throughout time.
Okay, you wanna know from the very begining… You know that most hospitals are at least based in some level of Christianity, right?
How many mouths have been fed how many people have been healed in the name of Jesus Christ?
Regular medicine, people who care for people in need.
How about you just go back to the very start of Christianity and what happened at the very start of Christianity women were treated like objects to be disregarded and right away they’re lifted up to a place of significance within the church co-heirs with Jesus Christ.
Christianity did that not so liberal movement on top of that, there was rampant infanticide going on all over Rome. People, if they didn’t want a child, particularly if she was a girl would just leave their baby out in the cold until it died, you know what Christians did in spite of the danger of walking the streets at night, they walked the streets at night, and found those babies and raise them as the wrong Christianity has been about saving kids rescuing orphans caring for widows from the very beginning.
That’s righteousness that’s good things. There’s been a 1000 ways. Christianity has had a positive impact on our world, emphasizing blind justice instead of allowing the powerful to get off with wrongs that they do.
Or how about just the daily moment-by-moment part where Christians live by the golden rule where they do to others as they would as they want others to do to them that right there, brings righteousness to this world.
I want you to understand this.
We as Christians have a long heritage of bringing righteousness to this world. But listen, it’s an already not yet things because in the end, we’re still fighting against spiritual powers and forces and in the end, those spiritual powers and forces have been given a time to rule and reign on this Earth, and we are battling against them, but they’re still gonna be here.
A new Covid- 20 is gonna pop up. I don’t think that’s how it works, but you know what I mean?
A new disease, it’s gonna pop up, and it’s gonna kill more people. We can’t… We can’t end that curve right you and I can’t take all the wetness out of humanity, right?
There’s still at best, 80% of the world doesn’t know Christ and is still controlled by their sins and their desires, right?
We can’t completely rule the world, but here’s the promise, that’s given to us. There is coming a day when Jesus Christ will come back to earth will establish His rule on this earth and righteousness will flow out from him to the very ends of this earth, and with that righteousness will come rest that’s the day we long for.
That’s what the Sabbath week is about. You walk through the curse of this life and you do the best you can to honor and glorify God but you look forward to that day, one day in the future, when God’s gonna make all things right, and we will finally be at rest through Jesus Christ, Hebrews 4 says they’re a Sabbath day, therefore Sabah, day remains for God’s people, there’s still Sabbath day, that remains ahead of us for the person who has entered this rest has rested from his work, he’s put aside His works, His good deeds and found rest in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ.
The one who is died and was raised for us. And in that, they find rest not and the things that they do and he says “Let us make every effort to enter that rest, or Jesus says it like this, tentacle to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.
If you learn about how to live a life that’s characterized by meekness and loneliness, another way to say that is characterized by love, you follow Jesus, and obey Him and believe what he accomplished for you, at the cross, then you will find rest for your souls what you want rest, okay, nobody want… We wanna fall asleep past it, yes, don’t you want rest just long for that rest today, I wanna challenge you and I wanna encourage you would you turn to Jesus Christ and find rest?
I have one word of application.
Okay, I watch you. I wanna encourage you to give serious consideration to the rhythm of your life.
How are you in the rhythm of your life finding rest in Jesus Christ?
We have regular rhythms, right?
You wake up, maybe you jump on your phone, check the news, check social media right away shouldn’t do that, not good for you, maybe you go to better right before you go to bed, you do the same thing, right? Shouldn’t do, that it doesn’t help you. Sleep Science proves that you have regular rhythm, right?
You eat at a certain time, you go to work at a certain time you know you have your Saturday Chores coming up, you’ve got a rhythm of your life. Let me ask you, how many rhythms of your life are promoting in you a desire for God’s rest through Jesus Christ, one really healthy, good rhythm that all of you are partaking and today, hopefully, is coming to church on Sunday participating singing praise receiving the word of God, reminding yourself of what matters renewing your mind to focus on the right thing, that is a healthy and good rhythm of rest. The Israelites were supposed to do that for a full day each week. It’s just remarkable.
Or how about… How about your devotions?
We call them devotions, what we mean by that, we could just call them rest. Are you spending time in spiritual rest every day you need a rhythm of your life to do that, by the way, I know people who think… Well, I’ll be able to have regular rhythm of rest but I’ll just try to find time throughout the day, I’ll do it a few minutes here, maybe one day a few minutes there, a different day, morning one day, afternoon. And it’s just how many of you have found that doesn’t work?
You gotta have a rhythm, you have to have something that reminds you, and it’s not that you keep it because you’re a legalist, now, your richest you keep it because it’s helpful, it’s helpful, to you to always have that in your life, to make you stop and rest spiritually.
Alright, I’ll take it a step farther, I mean I consider your calendar consider your schedule.
Can you find more time in a week to spend a little extra time reading the word of God and pray one once a week, Saturday morning, you’re gonna wake up at six o’clock, you’re gonna spend an extra hour a rhythm of rest. How can you do that? Are some of you are planning vacations, soon, right?
Okay, you wanna find true rest on a vacation? It’s not gonna be by filling yourself with your own selfish activities.
I wanna challenge you if you’re gonna go on vacation, spend some extra time with God, that’s where you’re gonna find rest.
The Sabbath rest is not primarily about you getting a break to do the things you want, it’s not what it is biblically.
The Sabbath rest is about you finding rest in Jesus Christ, that’s pray all our musicians to come up and we’ll sing some songs just close your eyes, by your heads home, or your heart.
I was God working on you. What is the challenging need to do? Do you need right now to pray to Him, ask forgiveness?
Do you need to enter His rest for the first time. Do you need to make some commitments to set good regular rhythms in your life of rest?
Bow your heads, humble your hearts…….
Gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you for the rest that we have in Jesus Christ. I pray that each one in here, would experience that freedom. Work in us Father, I pray, in Jesus name. Amen